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AS Level English Literature Poetry Revision. Robert Browning and Christina Rossetti. Robert Browning.

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AS Level English Literature Poetry Revision

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    1. AS Level English Literature Poetry Revision Robert Browning and Christina Rossetti.

    2. Robert Browning Robert Browning (7 May 1812 – 12 December 1889) was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets. His mother was a devout Evangelical Christian. Later in his life he lived in Florence, Italy with his wife Elizabeth Barrett Browning and their son.

    3. SUMMARY: The narrator is warmly welcomed home by crowds of people at the beginning of the poem. By the end of the poem the patriot (one who supports his country) is seen to be a traitor. • FORM: • Dramatic monologue • Narrative – story like • STRUCTURE: • Roman numerals between stanzas to show time frame • Flowing ABAB rhyme scheme adds to pace of writing. • LANGUAGE: • Rhetorical questions are used to try to create empathy for the narrator. • Repetition is used to highlight luxury ‘It was roses, roses all the way’ • Metaphorical language – contrast between before and after he was considered a patriot. • Shambles’ Gate – to be hanged. The PatriotRobert Browning

    4. My Last DuchessRobert Browning • SUMMARY: My Last Duchess is about a Duke who has recently had his wife, the duchess, killed for her ‘spot of joy’ and lack of propriety. • FORM: • Dramatic monologue – helps to exploit gap between what narrator wants us to know and the more implicit meanings. • First person narrator – selfish, arrogant. • STRUCTURE: • Iambic pentameter in rhyming couplets – aids the flow of the poem • Enjambment used to create rhythms – like real speech • Lack of stanzas to highlight instability of the narrator. • LANGUAGE: • Use of rhetorical questions to persuade the reader. • Repetition of ‘as if alive’ and ‘stoop’ • ‘Spot of joy’ is the cause of the duchess’ downfall • Detached, emotionless language to highlight narrator’s ruthless power. • Name dropping to show power and allude to Neptune.

    5. The Pied Piper of HamelinRobert Browning • SUMMARY: The poem is an adaptation of the legend from the middle ages (1284). Hamelin (a town in Germany) has a pest problem (rats) and calls in the pied piper to get rid of them. When he asks for payment the mayor refuses to give him the agreed amount so the pied paper takes the children away. • FORM: • ‘A child’s story’ – a poetic narrative retelling the legend • 3rd person narrative poem • STRUCTURE: • Iambic tetrameter creates a jolly rhythm • Roman numerals to show time has elapsed • Some metrical variations and irregular rhyme scheme to highlight significant lines. • LANGUAGE: • Anaphora – repetitive structures (lines 12, 13, 14). • Isolated word ‘rats!’ (line 10) to highlight the problem • Sensual imagery to describe characters and settings

    6. Porphyria’s LoverRobert Browning • SUMMARY: The action of Porphyria’s Lover unfolds through the recounting of the events of one night, culminating in the murder of Porphyria, by the speaker of the poem. • FORM: • Dramatic monologue • 1st person past tense – a recollection of the night of the murder • STRUCTURE: • ABABB rhyme scheme and single stanza suggests the instability of the narrator • Anaphora – repetitive structures also highlight instability. • Cadence (rhythm) of the poem mimics real speech • Caesura used to create dramatic effect ‘And strangled her.’ (line 41) • LANGUAGE: • Pathetic fallacy to create a setting and atmosphere in the opening of the poem • Metaphorical language • Alliteration of plosives – harsh sounds prepare reader for what is to come.

    7. Fra Lippo LippiRobert Browning • SUMMARY: Browning introduces us to Lippoas he is being interrogated by some Medici watchmen, who have caught him out at night. He shares with the men the hardships of monastic life: he is forced to carry on his relationships with women in secret, and his superiors are always defeating his good spirits. But Lippo’s most important statements concern the basis of art: should art be realistic and true-to-life, or should it be idealistic and didactic? • FORM: • Dramatic monologue • All ‘facts’ about artists and Lippo were taken from the book ‘Lives of the Painters’ by Giorgio Vasari. • STRUCTURE: • Roughly iambic pentameter • Blank verse – no rhyme. Similar to speech patterns. • Drunken encounter – a rant. • LANGUAGE: • Biblical language and references to artists • Anecdotal • Imagery • Change of pace through rhetorical questions.

    8. The Bishop Orders his TombRobert Browning • SUMMARY: A fictional Renaissance bishop lies on his deathbed giving orders for the tomb that is to be built for him. He instructs his ‘nephews’—perhaps a group of younger priests—on the materials and the design, motivated by a desire to outshine his predecessor Gandolf, but he finally realises that he will not live to see his wishes carried out. • FORM: • Dramatic monologue – implied listeners ‘nephews’. • STRUCTURE: • Iambic pentameter and blank verse used to mimic speech. • Long stanzas to reflect character of speaker • LANGUAGE: • Use of Latin to highlight status and intelligence of speaker. • Rhetorical questions are used to persuade listeners of his requests • Imagery to describe tomb and other art work.

    9. Christina Rossetti Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894) was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She worked as a volunteer from 1859 – 1870 at St Mary Magdalene house of charity – a refuge for former prostitutes. Rossetti became closely involved with the Park Village Sisterhood, an Anglican convent.

    10. The Convent ThresholdChristina Rossetti • SUMMARY: The female speaker (who may now be a voice beyond the grave) tells her lover that their (illicit?) relationship cannot continue and that she wishes to enter a purer life in a convent, as a precursor for entry to heaven. • FORM: • Dramatic monologue – implied listener is the illicit lover. • Employs several gothic motifs – blood shed, dreams, visions… • STRUCTURE: • Iambic tetrameter with some opening trochees (breaking out of set patterns) • Irregular rhyme scheme with a song like rhythm • Internal rhyme, alliteration and assonance used • Repetition to persuade. • LANGUAGE: • Metaphorical language • Rhetorical questions – persuasion • Biblical references

    11. Cousin KateChristina Rossetti • SUMMARY: The poem’s female speaker recalls her contentment in her humble surroundings until the local ‘Lord of the Manor’ took her to be his lover. He discarded her when she became pregnant and his affections turned to another village girl, Kate, whom he then married. Although the speaker’s community condemned the speaker as a ‘fallen’ woman, she reflects that her love for the lord was more faithful than Kate’s. She is proud of the son she bore him and is sure that the man is unhappy that he and Kate remain childless. • FORM: • 1st person narrative. • Some qualities of a ballad • STRUCTURE: • Iambic tetrameters – allows poem to be read at speed and create a more pronounced rhythm. • Final stanza’s rhythm does not follow others to symbolise the lack of unity a ring / marriage brings. • LANGUAGE: • Repetition and rhetorical questions convey anger and resentment. • Sexual language – sensual. • Imagery used to highlight comparisons • Active verbs used

    12. Goblin MarketChristina Rossetti • SUMMARY: Goblin Market is about two close sisters, Laura and Lizzie, as well as the goblin men to whom the title refers, and another girl named Jeanie. Laura eats the fruit of the goblin men and eventually Lizzie has to go to the goblin men to save her sister. • FORM: • Third person, past tense omniscient narrator. Intended as a fairy story? Unsure. • STRUCTURE: • Irregular rhyme scheme and meter • Chaotic structure – all about feminine perspective (one sided / biased) • Song like rhythm aids the flow of the poem • Anaphora (repetitive structure) used at the end of the poem to deliver moral message • LANGUAGE: • Opening reference to market links to Victorian market economy. • Buying and selling symbolises prostitution • Animalistic language used to portray the goblin men • Imagery to describe characters

    13. Jessie CameronChristina Rossetti • SUMMARY: The poem tells the story of two young people, Jessie Cameron and her spurned lover. Whilst they stand on a beach at dusk, he begs for her love and she continues to reject his pleas. Eventually the tide comes in and traps them. The second half of the poem is based on the suspicions and thoughts of neighbours as they account for their disappearance and suspected death at sea. • FORM: • Third person past tense omniscient narrator. • STRUCTURE: • Traditional ballad style – carries the story forward and emphasises drama • ABAB regular rhyme scheme – could resemble the tide • Iambic / anapaestic feet – rhythm of rising and falling sea. • LANGUAGE: • Sea is the central image of the poem – alliteration to replicate the sound of the sea. • Long vowel sounds also reproduce sound of the sea • Imagery used • Line 83 – pause ‘-’ creates suspense and mimics the quietness which often follows a scream or loud noise. • Gossip ‘some say’

    14. Maude ClareChristina Rossetti • SUMMARY: The poem recounts the story of two women, Maude Clare and Nell. They are both in love with the same man, Sir Thomas, who has chosen to marry Nell. On his wedding day, Maude turns up with wedding gifts consisting of the gifts he had presented to her through the course of their unfulfilled courtship. She declares to Nell that she can have what is left of the love Maude and Thomas shared. However, Nell asserts that she loves her husband enough to overlook his past. • FORM: • Third person past tense omniscient narrator. • STRUCTURE: • Traditional ballad structure • ABAB rhyme scheme (some ABCB – not quite regular, like the marriage) • Iambic tetrameter / trimeter lines • LANGUAGE: • Dialogue from characters – gives reader information about characters • Hyphens used to show pauses – Thomas falters • Metaphorical language – symbolises shadows and secrets • Comparisons between Maude Clare and Nell • Generational contrast (line 9) shows context and Victorian ideas.

    15. A Royal PrincessChristina Rossetti • SUMMARY: The poem begins by directly challenging the assumption that riches and privilege entail happiness. For the princess, who has a huge sense of compassion, watching people suffer due to the rule of her father causes her pain. Whilst she is provided with all the riches she could ever want her longing for justice, along with her loneliness and isolation, make her unhappy. • FORM: • First person narrative poem. • STRUCTURE: • Rhyming triplets to create fast pace • Trochaic lines represent the monotony of the princess’ life. • Long lines create a narrative effect. • LANGUAGE: • Use of dialogue to create more vivid characters • Metaphorical language. • Anaphora increase the pace and aids the flow of the poem. • Rhyming triplet ends the poem with a moral message. • Onomatopoeia – sensual. • Contrasts of wealth and poverty.

    16. Winter: My SecretChristina Rossetti • SUMMARY: A female speaker (female clothing?) is addressing an auditor who has asked her to tell her ‘secret’. She refuses on the grounds that the day is too cold, that perhaps there is nothing to tell and that she does not want to reveal herself, just as she does not want to be exposed to the cold. The speaker does not trust the assurances of the auditor that it will be alright, explaining that she is cautious even as springtime progresses. She may open up in the warmth of summer but otherwise the auditor will have to guess the secret. • FORM: • First person narrative poem. • STRUCTURE: • Mainly iambic – creates a conversational style. • Rhyming couplets and triplets • Internal rhyme • Use of enjambment to increase pace. • LANGUAGE: • Metaphorical language – seasons represent men / curiosity. • Question and answer structure in first stanza – suggests implied listener. • Possessive language